While Facebook's video calling smart home devices have long been in the works, the wake of another major data privacy scandal doesn't feel like the best time for a product launch. But perhaps Facebook just couldn't wait any longer — after all, it was reportedly supposed to debut the new products earlier this year, but held off due to bad press from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Today, just a little over a week after it announced a security flaw that affected 50 million accounts, the company launched the Portal ($199) and Portal+ ($349), both Amazon Alexa-enabled video calling devices. Read More
Amazon’s Alexa app serves as the gateway between users and their smart home devices, such as the recently updated Echo line of speakers. Almost a year ago, the app reached 10 million downloads and shortly after that, the company updated it with voice commands. Now it’s getting a major redesign which brings a new device view that lists all companion units on one screen.
The update has already rolled out to iOS users, and Amazon has confirmed to us that the refreshed Android experience will begin to show up over the coming weeks. Read More
Polk had the interesting idea of putting an Echo Dot into a soundbar, not only offering something that sounds better than your TV's speakers, but also adding Alexa to your living room. This all-in-one solution was dubbed the Command Bar, an unassuming soundbar that also happens to have what looks like an actual Echo Dot shoved in the middle. Read More
Amazon Music Unlimited is now available in Canada. Yesterday, the e-commerce giant announced details of the expansion which includes a 90-day trial (4-month trial for residents of Quebec). The launch of the service also brings Alexa to the app (iOS and Android) and Echo smart speakers. Pricing for the service is a bit cluttered due to the different plan options and Prime status of the customer so let’s break it down: Read More
Amazon's latest streaming media player, the Borg Cube Fire TV Cube, went on sale a few months ago. It has already dropped below MSRP a few times, but now it's on sale for $79.99. That's the lowest price we've seen yet, and $10 cheaper than it was on Prime Day. Read More
Last year, Lenovo unveiled an add-on for its flagship tablet, called the 'Home Assistant Pack.' By docking a Lenovo Tab 4 into the Home Assistant Pack, it became an Alexa speaker. The company is now working on similar products, according to a recent announcement. Read More
If you have ever wondered how many smart home products work with Amazon Alexa, the answer is a lot. Alongside announcements for new Echo speakers and other devices, Amazon revealed that over 20,000 smart home products from more than 3,500 brands can be controlled by Alexa. Read More
In addition to all the other hardware-related news today, Amazon is also rolling out its multi-room audio feature to third-party hardware. Called Alexa Multi-Room Music, the expanded support for other Alexa-powered devices will allow you to group third-party speakers, including offerings from companies like Bose and Sonos, together with Amazon's Echo hardware for synchronized playback. Read More
In addition to Alexa-powered standalone hardware in the Echo series, Amazon also announced a whole bunch of Alexa-integrated products. From a new AmazonBasics-branded smart microwave to the Amazon Smart Plug, there are tons of new auxiliary devices landing for the Alexa ecosystem in the next few months. Read More
Today Amazon took the wraps off a tremendous pile of Echo and Alexa-related hardware. Chief among the standalone Echo devices are the redesigned Echo Dot, Plus, and Show, as well as a slightly mysterious invitation-based Echo Auto. As expected, they're mostly incremental improvements, with better and louder sound or added Zigbee hub functionality.
Amazon's Alexa is one of the most popular and widely used digital assistants out there, and now it has a whole new generation of hardware available for pre-order. Let's take a look at each individually. Read More